Inside the Middle Class Workforce of Mumbai: A Close Look at Job Life

“A typical individual belonging to the middle-class and working a regular job in Mumbai experiences a unique and captivating journey. Let’s delve into the daily routine, weekends, and more, that shape their life and lifestyle in the city.”

Typical Street Side View
Typical Street Side View

Those unfamiliar with the fast-paced and socially active lifestyle of Mumbai may be curious about the daily routine of an average middle-class individual. As someone who has spent the past decade working in this city, I would like to offer my perspective and provide a glimpse into the life of a hardworking individual who earns their livelihood in Mumbai. This insight will shed light on how they navigate their weekdays and spend their weekends in this bustling metropolis known as the commercial capital of India.

This article may not appeal to you as it primarily discusses the realities of the expensive life and lifestyle of newcomers who come from outside the city and enter the job market in Mumbai.

It portrays the experience of a middle-class individual, aged between 21 and 35, who has high expectations and dreams. This person secures a job and gradually becomes immersed in the fast-paced rhythm of the city. Unbeknownst to them, they slowly become ensnared in a monotonous routine that leads them nowhere.

However, despite these challenges, they still hold a deep affection for Mumbai and its unique ambiance, where numerous individuals like them gather and time continues to pass. I trust that you will find this article enjoyable.

Crowded Mumbai Local Trains
Crowded Mumbai Local Trains

Spending More Time in Mumbai Lifeline Local Trains

The term ‘Mumbai’s Lifeline’ has been widely used in both online and offline newspapers as well as other news media. It refers to the local trains“, which serve as the most affordable and efficient mode of transportation for millions of citizens residing in various parts of the city. These local trains operate on the Western Suburban & Beyond route, extending till Dahanu Road, the Central Route, and Suburban, and the Harbour Route, which covers Thane city and district area, as well as Navi Mumbai city in the Southern East location.

Due to various factors such as heavy rains and technical issues, train services in Mumbai can sometimes come to a halt. This disruption in commuting affects not only the general public but also the employees of different companies, both big and small.

As a result, employees may be seen arriving and leaving at irregular timings, which inevitably impacts their work. However, this is a common occurrence in Mumbai, and employers have to make necessary adjustments to accommodate these challenges.

It is worth noting that not all passengers on local trains are from the middle-class or have middle-income backgrounds. Even individuals with higher incomes choose to commute via train due to the excessive traffic congestion, despite their companies covering the cost of fuel.

The duration of train travel can range from 45 minutes to over 3 hours, and therefore, regular commuters often form close-knit groups with whom they chat, sing, share daily experiences, and travel together until they reach their respective stations. This camaraderie extends to the return journey from work as well.

Metro Trains

In the midst of life’s challenges, the year 2014 bestowed upon us a sense of solace through the commencement of Metro train services connecting Versova and Ghatkopar. This delightful encounter was embraced with open arms and treasured dearly.

Year 2023, more and more of the metro train routes are operational, lowering the burden of local trains and buses.

How a Middle Class Mumbaikar Typically Spends a Weekday

Mumbai Life - Crowded Local Trains

This individual, who belongs to the middle-income bracket, commutes in their personal vehicle from suburban areas. They hold a high-ranking position in a company, and the company covers their fuel expenses. Now, let’s inquire about their experience behind the wheel, and they express a sentiment commonly shared by drivers of various socioeconomic backgrounds (whether affluent or middle class), exclaiming, “When will this traffic issue ever diminish?”

After the completion of the Coastal roads in a decade from now, Potholes will still remain the unsung heroes of Mumbai during monsoons. They continue to dominate discussions both personally and in news outlets, surpassing any other topic.

I would like to express that I, along with many others, feel a sense of shame regarding the state of our road conditions and traffic in the so-called commercial capital city of Mumbai. However, it is surprising to note that us middle-class individuals adapt to these circumstances within a few days and continue with our lives, considering it to be a normal occurrence that happens every year.

If you are a resident of Mumbai, I invite you to share your thoughts and comments on this matter at the conclusion of this article.

Oops, the day has just begun with a grueling 12-hour work schedule (which is both insane and has some legal implications that urgently need attention). It is my sincere hope that the relevant authorities take notice of this. Unlike the strict check-in timings observed in the USA and Japan (sharp 9:00 or 9:15 AM), our work timings here in Mumbai are more lenient. Considering the harsh reality of commuting in this city, some of our understanding bosses allow for a bit of flexibility, allowing us to start our day around 10:00 to 10:30.

And so, a typical day for the working middle class in their office begins. The marketing executive attends mundane meetings (do we have any exceptionally innovative ideas for the office? Please comment below), while an executive, whether from the IT or non-IT department, dives into a sea of bulk emails, spam, and a few official messages, all while sipping on a cup of tea or machine-made coffee. Not too bad, I suppose.

A fortunate few at work have access to the internet, and it is a must to catch up on the morning dose of tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram posts. How else can one ease into the workday? Unfortunately, many of us are unable to do so, as our bosses are seated right next to us or in the adjacent cabin, and internet access is strictly prohibited.

By midday, following a series of meetings, presentations, or interviews, the sense of accomplishment and similar positive energy emitted. However, after enduring a crowded train ride, incessant honking traffic, and the like, hunger becomes an inevitable urge. As middle-class individuals with regular jobs, we are quite particular about our lunch schedules (which typically commence after at least an hour). Although this may not apply to everyone, as marketing and field executives still struggle to find shade and a place to sit, they are permitted to open their own packed lunches. Otherwise, they resort to consuming inexpensive junk food or splurging on extravagant restaurants. This is the reality of life in Mumbai.

Oh, I must indulge in a post-lunch smoke for about 15 minutes. I am well aware that each cigarette shortens my precious lifespan by 11 minutes, and smoking is detrimental to health, leading to cancer. (Seriously? Have you ever contemplated the value of that one minute on your deathbed?) I implore you to make better use of those 15 minutes.

However, there seems to be something missing here. The mind of this middle-class individual is constantly occupied. Thoughts persistently race through their subconscious, whether it be while working, taking a coffee break, or simply walking. What could these thoughts possibly be? Here are just a few glimpses into their inner musings.

Is it possible for me to spend some quality time with my family today? Considering the various financial obligations such as EMI dates, credit card bill dates, mobile bills, electricity bills, and other home expenses due to the increasing inflation.

Additionally, there are health issues within the family that need attention. Moreover, year-end investments are crucial to avoid excessive taxation. Furthermore, there may be social engagements with relatives and others. Moreover, the schooling and related expenses of the children need to be taken into account. Lastly, have I overlooked anything important today?

The rapid pace of life in Mumbai, the superficial importance placed on social status, and the constant worry about what others will say, all serve to overshadow the true essence of life. The genuine joy found in cherishing simple moments and the priceless smile that doesn’t require anything are often overlooked. The soul of middle-class life is trapped in a job, functioning like a machine to meet life’s demands.

Excuse me, may I know the current time? It is already 5:30 PM, and I still have a considerable amount of unfinished work; there are reports to be sent, coding tasks to be completed, and so on. Sigh, I truly despise this job. How can I break free from this never-ending competition? Where is this path leading me? Well, let’s not dwell on it for today; tomorrow will be the perfect opportunity to make a positive change in my life. However, for now, I must prioritize deciding which local train or bus to take (preferably less crowded) in order to reach home early. Well, considering that after 12 hours of work, “early” means around 10:00 at night, right?

Love Life in Mega City Mumbai

Nowadays in Mumbai city, the focus on love life seems to be diminishing. The primary concern is money; with financial stability, women are naturally drawn towards men (although not all, it must be noted). However, it is undeniable that without money, not only does your romantic life suffer, but everything else becomes challenging as well.

During the relentless pursuit of money, job security, and loans in what is commonly referred to as the ‘RAT RACE’, love often takes a backseat. However, it is not completely forgotten, but rather relegated to a scheduled slot in our busy lives.

If you find my words hard to believe, I suggest you visit a pleasant cafe or bar and have a drink with your non-competitive colleague from work. After a drink or two, you will witness the genuine emotions, the essence of love, and all other aspects of life pouring out.

This, my dear friend, is the true essence of a person. Beneath the facade of a middle-class individual, buried under the weight of societal expectations and materialistic desires, lies a person with genuine emotions and a longing for a fulfilling life in the bustling city of Mumbai.

Yes, I am a typical Middle class and i currently reside in Mumbai, the financial hub of India, despite having limited financial resources both in my pocket and savings accounts. However, I consider myself a content middle-class individual who remains optimistic about the future.

BPO and Call Centre Life

What if I don’t have a white-collar job? It doesn’t matter because one day my dreams will surely come true. In the meantime, I can adjust with shift jobs at call centers and BPOs. Why not? It’s a viable alternative that doesn’t require extensive qualifications. There is a lifestyle, good and fast money, and the company of beautiful girls who are easy to get along with. I consider myself lucky to be single and ready to mingle (or perhaps married, but who cares).

However, I do contemplate my future. How long will I continue this way? I need to settle down and have my own home. Unfortunately, financial institutions are hesitant to trust individuals with call center jobs when it comes to loans. But that’s not a concern for now. I can think about all this tomorrow or maybe plan something on the weekends. Let’s have a cup of tea, smoke a little, and get back to work. It’s a night shift this week or month. So what if we work while the rest of the world sleeps? This is Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, and every middle-class person needs to face some initial struggles in their career. I will manage to live with friends, share a rental apartment, and enjoy weekends.

What truly matters is the thought behind it all. There are hard-working tea vendors who have managed to secure good positions in the city and improve their lives. On the other hand, there are those who have no patience for delayed gratification, who desire unlimited things, and who want to enjoy and have fun right now. Whoever you are and whatever you want, Mumbai welcomes all. It’s your life. Enjoy working in call centers and BPOs, although there are opportunities to climb the ladder here too or simply live paycheck to paycheck.

Weekend Job Life

There is no need to worry. These fortunate two days of the weekend are exclusively reserved for me. They belong to me alone. Certain individuals who do not work in the IT field are fortunate enough to have Sundays off. In addition to that, we have the advantage of enjoying ourselves with friends and dedicating quality time to our families.

How does an individual from the middle class spend their weekend in Mumbai? Some of the typical activities that we, as ordinary citizens, engage in include watching a movie, unwinding on the beaches that are easily accessible and in close proximity to nature (Mumbai is indeed fortunate to have numerous beaches), and occasionally visiting malls as well (not necessarily for shopping, but sometimes just to socialize).

If you like to know about Bollywood movies based on Mumbai city, Here is the list.

The middle class residents of Mumbai find it difficult to afford the upscale cafes and bars located in Bandra, Andheri, and Khar. Instead, they prefer to enjoy their time with friends at home or at regular family restaurants and bars. They can have a few drinks, order food, and have a great time partying over the weekend.

However, it is important to note that for those of us with jobs, late night parties on Saturdays may not be feasible as we have to be responsible and prepare for the week ahead. Sunday nights can be quite heavy-hearted for the middle class, as Monday not only brings the Monday blues but also a multitude of tasks and responsibilities (although I do appreciate my boss). Farewell, weekends, and welcome, Monday!

However, it is important to remember that the life of a busy middle-class individual with a job is just one aspect of Mumbai’s vibrant lifestyle. If one has sufficient financial means, both the day and night life in Mumbai offer equal beauty and endless opportunities for fun and enjoyment.

How Middle Class Feels on Monday

Are you familiar with the concept of Monday Blues that people experience worldwide? Well, in my case, it’s not exactly the same, as I encounter a vibrant rainbow of challenges every Monday. I’ve already mentioned some of these challenges, such as navigating through crowded local trains, catching buses or autos, dealing with traffic, and so on. It’s not easy for a person to wake up and prepare for their job.

And now, it’s time to rush, rush, rush! Sometimes, there’s no time for breakfast because I might miss my regular train. That train, with its beautiful coach, gives me a sense of accomplishment when I manage to secure a window seat. I have my regular group of people who are just like me, and there’s so much more to it. If you’ve noticed, Monday mornings are unusually quiet in the local train coaches. Why is that? Is it because people desperately need a break after the weekend and crave a peaceful sleep on Sundays? Or is it due to the deep sadness within, knowing that we have to face the artificial world and workplace challenges?

Yes, I have a job in Mumbai, the city of dreams. My relatives, who live far away in my villages, take pride in my presence in Mumbai, and I feel the same way. This is the city where strugglers like Shahrukh Khan and many others have achieved their dreams, and I believe that one day, I will too. It’s Monday, and it’s time to prepare myself with a metaphorical mask, just like Jim Carrey, to conceal the real me and face this fake world. This mask will help me navigate the corporate ladder. It’s a never-ending cycle of seven days in Mumbai, repeating itself until someone breaks free and succeeds or simply breaks down.

Life Flashes Back in Mumbai

After several years of working in Mumbai, there arrives a moment when individuals from the middle class begin to ponder and inquire about their own lives. This occurrence may or may not have a profound impact on their existence. Similar to myself, one might make a resolute choice to break free from the relentless pursuit of success and instead embrace a life of autonomy and dignity. They aspire to pursue their passions, live on their own terms, and earn a livelihood in their preferred manner.

The following are some of the significant queries that occupy their thoughts…

1. What were your aspirations during your college years? Are you currently pursuing the same path? If not, when do you plan to do so? It has already been ten years since you started working and changing jobs.

2. How did you manage your life with limited pocket money?

3. Do you truly desire to spend your entire life working for someone else?

4. Despite being part of the middle-class, you have a good income. However, are you genuinely happy? Do you have enough time to pursue your passions?

5. Will advancing in your career and earning more money truly solve all your problems?

My Personal Experience With Mumbai Life

Before I conclude this lengthy article, I would like to share my personal journey as a middle-class resident of Mumbai, working in various IT positions for a decade, and eventually, with the assistance of God, breaking free and living life on my own terms.

In the year 1997, I secured my first computer-related job, and the salary was a godsend for my family. However, deep down, I was never prepared for the daily grind of 8 to 10 hours of work, which became evident on my very first day at an esteemed bank in Mumbai, where I worked in shifts for 8 hours.

To overcome such circumstances, one must possess an unwavering determination. It took me a decade to break free from my job and pursue blogging as a full-time passion. Believe me, I had no prior knowledge or experience in the world of websites, but my desire for freedom and independence brought forth countless blessings.

In my opinion, the only motivation that truly works is self-motivation. While motivational books, seminars, and similar resources can be helpful, their effects are often short-lived. Escaping the confines of a middle-class mindset is no easy feat. It is within the mind where true transformation occurs. I began blogging and dedicating my spare time to developing my website, until the day arrived when I could finally bid farewell to my job.

I see that the hard work of clicking city pictures with those 2 and 8 megapixel costly mobile cameras is paying off when someone searches ‘Old Mumbai Pictures‘ and that was totally worth the job life then.

It is evident that the diligent effort put into capturing city photographs using expensive mobile cameras with 2 and 8 megapixels is yielding fruitful results when individuals search for ‘Old Mumbai Pictures‘. This endeavor has proven to be immensely rewarding in terms of one’s professional and personal life.


Here is my favourite quote for you (by W.H. Murray).

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, and always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.”

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Greetings, I am Deven, the founder of Mumbai77. With immense passion, I have dedicated my full-time efforts to continuously learn and update important information about Mumbai city. Currently, I am a full-time blogger residing in Mumbai. Since its establishment on July 7, 2007, Mumbai77 has attracted millions of pageviews. Our website aims to provide valuable information, including my personal reviews and experiences, to assist individuals worldwide in their search for updated information about Mumbai city.
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Milind Sonar
It was helpful
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mahendra mehta
Give us 2024 bus timing for all rout .remove old time table
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Good information about all stops. Thank you so much
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Extremely helpful

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